Sabe A Vino is a partnership between the founder Noel Aquino and Melquis Naveo. This idea is born in Puerto Rico in 2018 in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It was during a time where the island lacked electricity, and in most parts internet connection was nonexistent. Noel would drive long distances in order to locate internet access. That was the only way he could develop the website and build a social media presence. In conjunction with his friend Sheila Nolasco, Noel launched Sabe A Vino to serve as an online vehicle for informing people in the Caribbean about wine and the industry at-large. In addition, Noel initially used this platform as a way to provide wine recommendations as well as wine and food pairings. In the process, Noel came to the realization that his venture was attracting the interest of wine lovers and non-wine lovers alike. Thus, he thought of a variety of ways in which Sabe A Vino can grow beyond being an informative space. Fast forward to 2019, he and Melquis meet in Napa.
Both Melquis and Noel met at a time where their professional wine ambitions were growing. Noel shared his vision for what Sabe A Vino can become. Melquis then offered his wine experience to Noel for how to grow the venture, given his experience of serving wine tasters in Napa. The result was that Noel asked Melquis to join Sabe A Vino, and their partnership was formed. The result was the launching of pilot events, which culminated with several successful tasting events. Their initial success has prepared them now to officially launch. Their philosophy is simple: Latino hospitality and wine. Both come from cultures that are very much rooted in making others feel welcome. Thus, they operate with the understanding that wine should be accessible to everyone. While Noel and Melquis are rigorously preparing for the wine profession through studies and training, so that their clients don't have to worry about what they drink. They want their clients to leave the thinking to them. Together, they intend on serving the needs of all groups- from the novice just wants to enjoy a nice glass, to the hobbyist-connoisseur looking to fill a wine cellar.
Sabe A Vino in Spanish simply translates to "tastes like wine." Their philosophy is as simple as the title- they just want you to taste wine and enjoy!
Noel Aquino, Founder
Noel is the founder of Sabe A Vino and a native of Puerto Rico and has been in California for almost a year and a half. His purpose for moving to San Francisco was to pursue his dreams of being an entrepreneur in the wine industry. In January of 2019, he went on a wine tour in a hired car and made a connection with the driver, Melquis, that is now his partner on this venture. Noel has been the visionary behind the branding and the social media presence of Sabe A Vino, and along the way has managed to attract followers across multiple platforms. Noel is also the architect of the pilot events that took place in 2019. He will be responsible for developing the short- and long-term plans for Sabe A Vino, as the venture inevitably continues to grow. Noel received professional training from CAFA sommelier certification program in Puerto Rico. He also completed his WSET 1 at the Napa Valley Wine College in 2019. Along with Melquis, Noel is pursuing his WSET 2 and WSET 3 certifications in 2020.
Melquis Naveo, Partner
Melquis is a new addition to Sabe A Vino, beginning in the fall of 2019. With 7 years of experience as a driver providing wine tours in Napa and Sonoma, Melquis has built relationships and has gained knowledge of the service side and event planning side of the wine industry. As a New York native that was raised in the Boston area to a Dominican family, Melquis was drawn to Noel immediately given their Caribbean connection. Their shared love of wine, in conjunction with their love for their island culture, convinced Melquis to join Noel in growing Sabe A Vino. Melquis is the ambassador of the group, essentially going out and building relationships with wine professionals and wine aficionados alike. In addition, his role within Sabe A Vino is to serve as a strategic partner for focusing on their online presence and also in determining future projects. Melquis has received his professional training from Napa Valley Wine College, completing the WSET 1 certification in 2019. He is is also pursuing WSET 2 and WSET certifications.